Rain doesn#039;t keep Weisfest fans down

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2003

Rain and lightning kept the rockers at bay Friday night as the first day of Weisfest was canceled due to adverse weather. However, sunny skies and cool breezes Saturday gave the fans what they were looking for.

At about 6:30 p.m. Friday, just before Loverboy was scheduled to start on stage, a heavy rain shower sent fans to the grandstand for shelter and delayed the start of the concert.

Off and on rain kept fans at the fairgrounds for a couple hours, hoping for clear skies.

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"I've got no umbrella, no poncho, no protection at all," said Jason Bellrichard of Austin. "I'm going to stick it out."

But at about 7:45 p.m., after hail warnings sent even the die-hard fans to shelter, a good portion of the crowd started out the gates.

Some planned to return later and some headed home, but despite the disappointments, many kept a good attitude.

Rick Dollar of Lanesboro was one of the people planning to return. Even if it was canceled, he said he would be back for Sunday's show.

Besides Loverboy, Eddie Money and Joan Jett and the Black Hearts were scheduled to perform.

Priscilla DeBoer of Austin said she wanted to give her kids a taste of the music from her past.

"I just remember listening to Loverboy growing up, and I brought the kids so they would know what I've been listening to," she said. "It ain't all hip-hop. It's rock."

A small crowd of people waited to the very end to see if they'd get a show. At about 9 p.m. it was officially canceled, although the fans were told the one-day passes would be honored at either the Saturday or Sunday show if they wanted to come back.

The faithful few that waited it out still got a show of sorts. The scheduled fireworks were shot off as planned.

Jeremy Mostek of Flashing Thunder Fireworks said the people seemed excited to see the display.

"I think it's because we're probably going to be the only act," he said.

Weisfest promoter Chris Weis said advanced ticket sales were almost 4,000. With two more days to go, he expects the fans get a good show.

He said he was happy that most of the people were not too discouraged by the poor luck Friday.

"I'm really impressed by the support we got today with everybody sticking in there," he said.

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by email at matt.merritt@austindailyherald.com